The recent storms passing over the state have bolstered California’s snowpack totals with more to come.
On Sunday, January 24, California’s snow water equivalent readings were just 38 percent of the historical average of that date. Both the Northern and Central Sierras were above 40 percent of normal but the Southern Sierra region was at a paltry 23 percent of normal. Those numbers reflect what has been a dry winter overall for the state. April 1 is the date that analysts compare to for season totals when the snowpack is usually at its peak. As of January 24, the statewide snow water equivalent was just 21 percent of the April 1 average.
However, earlier this month Chief of DWR’s Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Section Sean de Guzman noted that, “It’s not uncommon for the bulk of our Sierra snowpack to come from just a handful of winter storms.” Multiple storm fronts have moved through the west since Monday, January 25. As of Thursday, January 28, the current systems have increased the statewide snow water equivalent from 38 percent to 58 percent of average for the date. They have also increased the percent of the April 1 average from 21 percent to 34 percent. All Sierra mountain regions are seeing an increase with the Northern Sierras now at 58 percent of normal, Central Sierras at 62 percent of normal, and Southern Sierras up to 45 percent of normal.
The National Weather Service has issued various flood warnings as well as winter storm warnings to much of the state. The much-needed rain and snow are expected to dry up over the weekend. However, meteorologists are tracking another front coming in early next week that should continue to add to snowpack totals.
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